Between November and December 2018, Thinkplace, a MERIEM project partner, conducted an exploratory study based on Human-Centred Design methodology, with a view to understanding the behaviours, habits and dynamics of women consumers in terms of food and nutrition in Ouagadougou, Niamey and Bamako.

A study on needs and behaviours

The MERIEM project plans to provide an appropriate quality product offer that is attractive and affordable for women and children in Sahelian cities. Good knowledge of needs and eating habits among the populations concerned is important. In addition to nutritional studies and studies analysing demand, conducted by other NGO and scientific partners, ThinkPlace conducted a study based on the Human-Centred Design method.

The company conducted exploratory research among 225 people, aimed at gaining better knowledge of lifestyles, eating habits and aspirations among the target populations. Through observation and interview methodologies, it highlighted the main purchasing and eating trends in Sahelian cities. Using these observations, the company generated archetypes of consumers and of product categories likely to appeal to women consumers.

Sandwiches and individual consumption are key habits in cities

Among the results of the study, which will be supplemented and extended by additional surveys, the study shows that the consumption of women in cities and their young children is a mix of Sahelian culinary traditions and international practices in large cities. Although cooking and attachment to traditions are still very present, consumption of sandwiches, drinks between meals and individual meals are on the increase.

A contribution to the proposal of a fortified food product offer to better respond to the nutritional requirements of women and young children, to prevent malnutrition in Sahelian cities.